5 killed in scenic trolley derailment in Rio

Updated: 2011-08-28 19:00


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RIO DE JANEIRO - At least five people were killed and 54 others injured when a tourist trolley derailed in the Santa Teresa neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro Saturday, local authorities said.

The trolley was lying on its side, with its carriage stuck against a power pole on the roadside. Several bodies were seen strewn at the scene.

Witnesses said the trolley careered down the track at high speed and the brake apparently failed, when it skidded off its tracks at a sharp turn.

A report from the local fire department said four people including the driver died on the spot, one died on the way to hospital, and 54 had been sent to nearby hospitals. Four of the injured were in a serious condition.

A preliminary investigation showed overloading and speeding was blame for the derailment. City authorities suspended all similar trolley services after the accident.

Santa Teresa, located on top of a hill near downtown Rio, is famous for its winding, narrow streets which are a favorite spot for artists and tourists. The tram is a popular attraction, offering panoramic views of the city.

The local government fears the accident would hurt tourism in the city, which is to hold the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

In June, a French tourist was killed after falling out of a similar trolley. In 2009, a trolley ran down the hill and hit other vehicles, killing one person and injuring many others.


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